News of the MTA's belt tightening after not getting $6.6 billion from the state (the state would only give up a bit over $21 billion; the MTA had wanted closer to $28 billion) didn't really surprise anyone, but they were still annoyed. One MTA board members (Mayor Bloomberg's rep) predicted the Second Avenue Subway would never be built, as the MTA decided not to award contracts for excavation projects. The NY Times spoke to commuters at the stations where station rebabilitation would be delayed; one woman said, about the 86th Street N station in Brooklyn, "I believe the reason they aren't doing repairs to it is because it's a local, and no one complains." Gothamist hopes that the Mayor, the City Council, and the unions, not to mention the public, will complain, but complaining might be done best by not voting for the same Assembly members again.

The MTA will be able to fund this: 44 rehabilitated subway stations, almost 1,000 new subway cars, 1,360 new buses and 158 new LIRR cars. The best quote about the MTA's budget problems comes from Gene Russianoff, about Governor Pataki's favorite project, the JFK rail link. Since the MTA had initially set aside $400 million for the project, Russianoff and other transit advocate want the MTA to table the project for now: "Asking the MTA to pay that $400 million is like asking a debtor nation to make a contribution."

Oh, and another tidbit from yesterday's MTA board meeting: NYC Transit (the subways and buses division) raised $2.9 million LESS revenue than projected for March; remember, March was the first full month of the increased unlimited Metrocard increases. The Times says the MTA is blaming it on the weather, but how about the crappy subway service?